MyoKardia Buyout: BMS expands its cardiovascular portfolio for USD 13.1 Billion 

Bristol Myers Squibb has bounty years in a go with its shares skyrocketing as it decides to go on an acquisition spree. 

BMS has announced to acquire MyoKardia, a pharmaceutical company leveraging precision medicine to treat cardiomyopathies and other forms of heart failure. 

BMS, according to the deal signed between the participating pharmaceuticals, will shell out USD 225 per share in cash in return of MyoKardia’s mavacamten, a novel, first-in-class, small molecule, allosteric inhibitor of cardiac-specific myosin adenosine triphosphatase under rigorous testing to tackle obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). (EXPLORER-HCM). From now onwards, BMS will take care of the development and further process of submission for FDA approval (expected in 2021) of the drug. 

Besides mavacamten, BMS will get its hands on other agents in MyoKardia’s pipeline including, two clinical-stage compounds, danicamtiv (formerly MYK-491) and MYK-224. 

BridgeBio Pharma, in a long tiring journey, finally to acquire remaining stake of Eidos Therapeutics

BridgeBio Pharma has finally welcomed Eidos Therapeutics back into the pack. BridgeBio and Eidos entered into a definitive agreement, under which, BridgeBio will acquire approximately 36.3% of the remaining stake in Eidos for an aggregate value of USD 175 Million.

The deal goes back a long way with having witnessed lots of turns and twists. Last year in August, Eidos unanimously had rejected the interest shared by BridgeBio to acquire the shares in Eidos. This lead to a lot of convincing and an increase in the initial offer by BridgeBio, and finally, the company after a year managed to have it’s way. 

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021, and BridgeBio pans to close the deal with cash consideration with cash on hand. The acquisition will subsequently add to the company’s cardiorenal portfolio.

Novartis/Amgen Episodic migraine treatment, Aimovig, shows a positive effect in long term

At the 18th Biennial Migraine Trust International Symposium that took place virtually from Oct 03 – Oct 09, 2020, Amgen highlighted the five-year Phase II data of its anti-CGRP migraine treatment, Aimovig (Erenumab), in episodic migraines.

The data presented demonstrated an average reduction of 5.3 monthly migraine days from a baseline of 8.7 days and the drug helped patients achieve sustained reductions in monthly migraine days, in the use of acute migraine-specific medication (AMSM), such as triptans by 4.4 days, down from the baseline of 6.2 days.

Developed by Amgen jointly with Novartis, Aimovig is approved by the USFDA and the EMA for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. However, the sun for the drug does not seem to be shining in the United Kingdom, after NICE, the UK’s medicines cost-effectiveness agency, turned down NHS funding. 

However, after the demonstration of long-term positive results with a consistent safety profile, it might prove to be a turning point for Aimovig.

Scientists who led the identification of Hepatitis C virus wins the Nobel Prize in Medicine

Three scientists Harvey J Alter (American), Charles M Rice (American), and Michael Houghton (British), have jointly won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their groundbreaking discovery of the Hepatitis C virus. 

Hepatitis C (also known as hep C or HCV) is one of the viruses of group hepatitis virus, which majorly is transmitted through unsafe sexual practices, inadequate sterilization of medical equipment such as syringes,  or infected blood transfusions. The virus can cause both acute and chronic infections. Chronic hepatitis C can lead to severe liver diseases and, ultimately, death. 

The discovery of the Hepatitis C virus is nowhere less than a landmark achievement, which has saved millions of lives. Furthermore, the discovery forms the base for the development of diagnostics approaches, including highly sensitive blood tests for the virus and effective anti-viral drugs such as AbbVie’s Mayvret and Gilead Science’s Harvoni and Sovaldi.

Bharat Biotech to anchor ViroVax’s technology to boost Covaxin’s immune response

India’s Vaccine maker, Bharat Biotech has been in the news for developing the first-ever Indian vaccine, Covaxin, an inactivated vaccine designed to trigger antibodies against the virus,  in response to COVID-19 in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Virology (NIV).

The company has received approval to begin Phase II, a  randomized, double-blind, multi-center clinical trial for the vaccine, which intends to enroll 380 participants. 

Now, Bharat Biotech has entered into a licensing agreement with ViroVax, a US-based pharma company, to use the latter’s adjuvant Alhydroxiquim-II in order to boost the immune response of its novel coronavirus vaccine and offer longer-lasting immunity against the virus. 

Several pharma companies, including Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, BioNTech, CureVac, and many others, are effortlessly investigating their vaccine candidates in different stages of clinical trials against COVID-19. However, there are concerns related to the safe vaccination of patients in the trials, and experts believe if the process runs down smoothly, it can take approximately 12-18 months for a vaccine to reach its destination.